Saturday, 3 October 2015

Living with Depression

I have talked about depression a fair amount during the years I've been blogging.   It's something that I have learned to live with.

Reading back over some of the posts I've published on this blog helps me to recognise warning signs, put things into perspective, and just get on with dealing with my state of mind.

We don't talk about any kind of mental illness often enough.  There is still a stigma attached to it, so when someone asks us "How are you?", we say "Fine" and we're far from fine.

Here are some of my posts on Depression, which may just be of use to those of you in the same boat.

The first one posted in 2009:

Depression (1)

Depression (2)

Psychosomatic Disorder

The third one did make me wonder about  my current back pain.

There are more posts on this topic but I think that's enough for now.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

And another couple of weeks.....

....pass without me doing a blog post.  I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for blogging.  I think my group on Facebook has replaced it up to a point, but I used to be able to rattle off a post in 10 minutes.  Now I sit staring at the empty page with little inspiration.

The longer I leave it, the more I forget things that have happened that I could write about.

There is an overwhelming sadness in this country at the moment.

We have so many refugees arriving every day. Desperate people fleeing a country being destroyed by war.  Babies and children being washed up on the shores of Bodrum because the people trafficers charge them a high price to cram them into inflatable rafts without life jackets.  Rafts that have little chance of staying afloat.   Some have been duped into paying for fake lifejackets.  There are always evil people out there ready to cash in on others misery.

Turkish soldiers have died in recent days and most towns and cities are in mourning.  The troubles on the Syrian border continue and there seems to be no end in sight.

The Turkish lira is very weak at the moment.  There is much uncertainty about the future.  Another election will be held in November  and I'm wondering at the outcome and how it will affect life here. The leader of this country seems more concerned with his own personal power than dealing with the crises here.

To give the government some credit, at least they have allowed around 2 million refugees into the country and have built camps to accommodate some of them but there are still so many living on the streets.   Groups of expats and Turks all over the country are donating goods to distribute to the refugees.  They are doing a fantastic job.

The racism, xenophobia and sheer hatred for the refugees that I am seeing on Facebook from the people of the UK, make me ashamed to be British.   Where is the compassion?  When did people stop caring about others?  Many seem to live in their own little bubble, ignorant of what's happening elsewhere.  The NIMBY attitude is certainly alive and kicking.

It might seem inappropriate to talk about dogs when people are suffering.  But Mr A and I continue to do what we can for the dogs in our area.  They are still living beings, no more/no less important than human beings in our opinion.

Mr A has been fantastic with the two dogs and 8 puppies at his personnel accommodation.  They are thriving and it is anticipated that homes will be found for all of them.

They have been wormed, flea/tick treated, and Paşa recently had vet treatment for a chest infection which we feared was a nasty virus which is spreading around Bodrum.  Luckily he has recovered well.  Narin continues to be a very good mother to her pups.  She and the female pups will be spayed in October thanks to my group of friends in Bitez who have offered to cover the cost.  We will endeavour to vaccinate all of them, depending on whether we have sufficient funds to  do so.

We are still supplying food to Annie and the sanayi dogs.  As is normal in summer there aren't quite so many dogs around here.  But we know that as winter approaches they will return, along with many others.  In this respect I have started buying as many 15kg sacks of food as possible, shopping around for the best prices.   We want to be prepared.   Mr A's job will finish for the winter some time in October.  Thankfully he will only be out of work for four months and will start work again with the same company on 1st March.   During the winter months we will be out feeding the dogs every day.  Winters can be cold and wet here so we need to keep them well fed.

As always I am very grateful for  the donations I receive but funds dry up very quickly.  If you would like to give something, no matter how small, it will be very gratefully received.

And some brighter news.  I am off to the UK in the early hours of Friday morning, for 10 days.  I have a family wedding to attend on Saturday and it is my daughter's birthday the following Saturday.  And of course I will have chance to spend some time with my lovely grandsons.  I miss them all so much and I think this trip will do a lot to lift my spirits.

Friday, 21 August 2015

APOLOGIES..... all my blog followers.  I have just realised that I haven't produced a blog post since 1st August.  Three weeks.  This is the longest I have ever gone without blogging.

I'm afraid I have been using my group on Facebook more and more, and of course not all of you have Facebook accounts.  So I will now fill you in on what has happened since my last post, mostly copying my Facebook updates.

4th August 2015.  

Narin gave birth to 10 pups.

9th August 2015

Sadly two of Narin's pups have died. It's hard to keep them cool in this heat and finding somewhere suitable for them. My husband also thinks people may have been handling the pups even though he had put up a sign saying not to do so.

He popped home at 6 this morning and collected one of our kennels which he hopes will provide shelter from the heat. 

8th August 2015.

Narin and her remaining 8 pups are doing OK so far. Since the birth her protector Paşa has stayed away from the house during the day, mostly because Narin is very protective of her pups and growls when he goes near them. But he is safe and happy. The guy who is adopting him works in the beach area and Paşa is spending every day with him.

11th August 2015

Mr A discovered that all the pups had ticks and fleas and as they are so young he needed to get advice about whether there was a suitable product to treat them.  Fortunately he was able to get treatment from a reputable vet in Bodrum and all pups were treated.  The ticks dropped off and were burnt.  He also collected further tick and flea treatment for Narin.  

And here they are enjoying "breakfast"

16th August 2015

I noticed over the past couple of days that the dog owned by the shepherd who passes our house twice a day is looking a bit thin. The shepherd has a couple of dogs but they are very poor people and I doubt they can afford more than scraps for the dogs. He treats them well otherwise. They are never chained up, like so many others here.
So imagine his absolute delight when I gave him a 15kg sack of dog food just now. So many thankyous and a happy smile.

As a result of this post on Facebook I received a donation from someone who wished to remain anonymous who wanted to pay for the shepherds dogs food for the foreseeable future.

Thankyou for this  very kind gesture and a huge thankyou to all of you who have donated.  Without your support we would find it hard to keep doing what we do.

20th August 2015

The pups are now two weeks old and Mr A collected worm tablets from the Bodrum vet for them.  They will be wormed again in 2 weeks time.  Then every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old, every month until 6 months, and then every 3 months as for adult dogs.  (We will supply the new owners with sufficient tablets to keep them going for a few months)

Since Mr A took on the responsibility for these dogs he has been attempting to find homes for them all once the season ends.  Paşa has his new owner.  Narin also has hers.  She may go with a few of the pups, but other colleagues have expressed an interest in taking one pup each.  Hopefully this will work out well.

My main concern was to get Narin spayed as soon as possible.  Yesterday I still hadn't any idea how many boys and how many girls were in the litter.  I would have liked to have had any girls spayed too but thought that the season would end before we had chance to do this.

There was some discussion on my Facebook group yesterday about this.  I have read lots of articles about pups being spayed as early as 8 weeks.  Everyone has different opinions on this issue and I have usually had mine spayed at around 5 months.  

However, circumstances here are different.   The earlier we can get a pup spayed the better chance they have of being re-homed, and at least no chance of them reproducing even more unwanted pups.

I have had an offer of help from a group of friends in Bitez.  They happen to know that the Bodrum vet has successfully spayed pups at 8 weeks old.  And these friends have offered to help cover the cost of spaying Narin and the female pups.

Last night Mr A checked and there are 4 girls and 4 boys.

We will get the 4 girls and Narin spayed at the beginning of October.  Thankyou so much to my Bitez friends.  This is such a marvellous offer and I am so relieved that we can give these pups the best start possible.

Further updates in due course.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

My husband the animal magnet

Those of you who have followed my blog for sometime will know that my husband is a bit of an animal magnet.  Dogs in particular seem to seek him out.

Wherever he happens to be working for the summer season, he always manages to find a couple of dogs, and sometimes cats, to look after. Each year he has managed to find homes for them at the end of the season.

Because of the long hours of work, he is mostly staying in personnel accommodation this year in Bodrum, and has "adopted" two dogs.  One male and one female and they are staying there with him.

He has already managed to find homes for them when the season finishes, amongst some of his work colleagues.  The male will stay locally and the female will be going to another area, to a village, with one of his colleagues.

The boy is called Paşa and the girl is called Narin.  Mr A has now discovered that Narin is pregnant.  He has spoken to a vet in Bodrum and it would seem that she is too far advanced for the feotuses to be aborted.  This is not a problem as the guy who is going to take Narin is happy to take her puppies too.

On Thursday David and I went shopping in Milas and called into to see Mehmet the vet.  Thanks to recent donations I collected 10 more spot-on flea and tick treatments and also some for Timmy, who had a reaction to the Paraband collar.  After careful consideration and on the advice of others, I decided against parabands for the street dogs as these could possibly be removed.

I also bought some more sacks of food, and we dropped a further two sacks to Fikret at the sanayi who feeds the dogs for us there.  (Thankyou David for always being so helpful with transport)

As mentioned earlier this week, Annie now has a stock of food, and also more eye drops for her eye infection which flares up from time to time.

Sadly I have to report that the two dogs that disappeared from near the old man's house, have not returned.  Also the other dogs that visited him daily for food also seem to have disappeared.  He still has two dogs at his house and he takes food with him whenever he goes into the village in case there are dogs in need.  We will continue to provide him with food for the dogs.

We are used to dogs disappearing during the summer months, but many re-appear at the beginning of of course more new ones.   We are now into August so I am thinking ahead and making sure I budget for stocks of winter food.

Mr A popped home briefly on Thursday evening and I gave him flea treatments and worm tablets to take back  for Narin and Paşa, and also a sack of food.  We are hoping to have Narin spayed after she has her pups, finances permitting, and if possible will also get Paşa neutered.

Thankyou  once again to those who continue to donate on a regular basis, and others who donated recently in response to my appeal.  Without your support we would find it almost impossible to continue.  If you would like to donate (any amount, no matter how small) you will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.

Thankyou xxx



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

It's a very British habit..... talk about the weather.  We like to complain if it's too hot, or too cold, or too wet.

The Turks don't seem to talk about it much.  They just get on with it.  They are used to the drastic climate changes and don't feel the need to discuss it.  But we have to talk about it endlessly.

Sometimes when I am out in the village and pass someone I say hello and how are you.  They respond accordingly.  I might add something like "It's very hot" or "It's very cold" and they just look at me as if I'm mad.  They nod and smile.  They humour me.   In winter we say "roll on summer".  In summer we say "roll on winter".   We never seem to be satisfied.'s hot here at the moment.  Extremely hot and unbearable and I am finding it difficult to cope.  We have one air conditioning unit that is broken.  Two attempts have been made to fix it with no success.  I am stuck in a very hot house with a ceiling fan in the bedroom which just circulates the hot air.  I get up very early to clean out the dogs areas and half-heartedly do some housework, but by 7.30am I am hot and exhausted.  

I have tried sitting outside in the evening or early morning but over the past couple of days I have been bitten unmercifully by mosquitoes, so it's back inside the hothouse.  If I had a swimming pool (or  even a large paddling pool) I probably wouldn't feel so bad tempered.  

I envy those on holiday here who can sit by a pool, relax with a  cold drink, and take a dip to cool off.  It's very different living here.

So there we have it.   A whole blog post about the weather.   Roll on winter.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


I did some posts a couple of years ago about scandal in villages...well this village in particular..and I thought about them again on Saturday when reading an article in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet

BLİND SPOT. The secret sex life of Turks

The murder of this little boy was shocking but I found it almost impossible to believe that the concern from those around seemed to be more about the fact that people were having sex in Ramazan during daylight hours.

The article says a lot about things that go on behind closed doors in the less educated parts of Turkey and it's very disturbing.  Even after living here for so long, some things still shock me.

Having mentioned my posts about scandal in our village, although of course not as shocking as the article above, I'll give you the links to them here, for those of you who are new to my blog.  My long term followers will no doubt remember them



Interestingly, I caught the dolmuş into Milas yesterday.  It was hot and stuffy and when I got on there was only one seat left, next to the lady mentioned in the above post.  The dolmuş was filling up fast as it was market day in Milas, but even though several people got on before me, no-one sat next to this lady, so I did.

She greeted me as usual by name and we had a chat on the way to Milas.  All the while I was receiving "looks" from the other doubt wondering whether I follow the same profession.    The prejudice and narrow-mindedness of village people really irritates me.  Sod the lot of them!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Once a week......

...seems pretty much all I can manage when it comes to blogging these days.

It was my birthday last Tuesday.   They seem to come around rather too quickly for my liking, but this is really the first year that I have been aware of having to slow down a bit.  I have always been very active and often with the energy of someone much younger.  Even though my brain tells me that I can do absolutely anything, my body doesn't necessarily agree.

The day of my birthday was really a non-event.  I didn't see another person.  The first time in my life I have spent the day entirely alone.  I had had plans to go out with my friend Fleur, but we are in the middle of a heatwave.  It's just too hot for me to venture out, and a long way for Fleur to drive, so we have postponed our get together until later when the weather is cooler.

Mr A is still working flat out, although in recent weeks he was managing to get home most nights, and had moved all his clothes back to the house from the personnel accommodation.  His company car can only be used for his job (it has a GPS tracker) but his last port of call most days was a hotel in Gulluk, close enough for him to drive home.

This particular hotel has caused him so many problems.  Customers there seem to be what I call the professional complainers (those who complain from start to finish wherever they stay).  It's a cheap all-inclusive hotel, but seems to attract those who pay 2 star prices but expect 5 star treatment.  I'm not sure these people will ever accept that you only get what you pay for.

They are also not interested in buying excursions, the commission on which makes up the majority of Mr A's earnings.

It reached a point last weekend where Mr A had had enough.  Expecting him to rush through so many hotels from 8am onwards, arriving at the Gulluk hotel around 8pm and then being stuck there until midnight takes it's toll.   Not to mention the occasional phone call at 2 or 3am telling him to go to the airport to collect customers and transport them to Bodrum.

He spoke to  the boss.  He made a fuss and stood his ground.  Eventually it was decided that he could drop the Gulluk hotel and someone else, who works mainly at the airport, would deal with it.

Good news on the one hand.  He has a bit more free time.  But on the other hand, he can't justify using the company car to come home.  So on Monday evening he popped home to collect his belongings and move back to the personnel accommodation.  He clearly didn't remember that it was my birthday the following day.

Thanks to Facebook birthday reminders and the vast number of birthday wishes I received from Facebook friends (thankyou so much everyone) I was finally wished Happy Birthday by him around midday, but there was no chance of him getting home.

An airport run last night meant that he could come home for the night.  He also managed to sell his old motorbike to a man in the village, and will buy a newer one as soon as he earns enough money.  He's hoping this will be sooner rather than later, because it then means that he can use the motorbike to go to Bodrum to pick up the company car, and then bike home sometimes when he finishes work.  He also dropped off more supplies of dog food to our feeders while he was here last night.

So he will set off again early this morning and I have no idea when I will next see him.  This is just the way it goes for anyone working in tourism.

Roll on winter!

Have a good weekend everyone.

Sunday, 5 July 2015


Now there's a title to put you off reading further!

I've never taken much notice of statistics in everyday life.   People who use them to prove a point can make them say pretty much anything they want.

There are blogging statistics.  Again I never look at them.  Some bloggers are obsessed with them it seems and how many "hits" they have received since they started blogging.

Out of interest...or probably boredom...I looked at my statistics page this week and was amazed to discover the number of hits on certain blog posts.  I realise why this happens, of course.  It's not really anything to do with people necessarily wanting to read your blog.  It's usually connected to the post title.  People search certain words on the internet and if those words are contained in a blog post title, it will show up.  Once they click on the link, most of them will discover that it wasn't what they were looking for, then search elsewhere.

So really the statistics are meaningless.

However, here are my top 5 blog posts according to the number of hits, which you may find interesting if you are also a bit bored at the moment!

In 5th place    MEMORY            2,514 views

In 4th place   LEMON CURD AND SHORTBREAD    3,137 views

In 3rd place    BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP   3,424 views

In 2nd place  GÖZLEME    9,219 views

And not surprisingly this is No.1      THE TURKİSH MALE MENTALİTY   11,713  views

You will now see from these old posts, that my blog hasn't always been about dogs!

Happy weekend everyone.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Summer Sleep Pattern

Well here we are in the second week of Ramazan.  I don't hear the drummer at all now.  In fact I think he may well have given up his patrol at the bottom of the village.

However, my dogs are barking on and off all night.  The slightest sound sets them off.

 At this time of year the heat causes them to sleep all day, then when it cools down slightly at night they are wide awake.   Their area is outside my bedroom window so I can hear them running about and playing.

We do seem to be getting foxes up on the hill behind the house. My neighbours on either side have chickens.  The construction of their chicken coops leaves much to be desired, so the chickens can get out quite easily.  The neighbours tolerate my dogs barking.  In fact Dursune is very happy about it.  It scares off the foxes and protects the chickens.

Sevke's chickens are frankly a bloody nuisance at the moment.  They are getting into our garden and eating tomato, courgette and pepper plants.  

One evening over a week ago when Mr A finished work while it was still light, he started to construct the bamboo fencing around the top of the garden which would prevent Sevke's chickens from getting in.  Unfortunately it got dark before he finished, so there is now a gap. He hasn't been home much since then so not much chance of the fence being finished any time soon.

The chickens now come and go through the gap.   Tommy barks furiously at them.  I try to shoo them away, sometimes with the hosepipe.  Nothing works. These Turkish chickens are hardy (and stubborn) creatures.

Mr A checked in again with the old man about his two missing dogs.  No news at all, so I'm afraid we have to assume they will not be returning.  He is still feeding the rest of the dogs away from his house, on the way to the teahouse.

The sanayi man continues to feed the dogs there, and he is subsidising the food we provide with leftovers from a sanayi cafe.  He phones Mr A when supplies of food are getting low and we deliver more.  The same for the woman who is feeding Annie plus four or five more dogs...her son phones when they need more supplies of food. sleep pattern.   My body clock is all over the place.  I'm awake for most of the night.  During the day it's too hot to sleep but I manage a couple of naps while the dogs are quiet.  It's not ideal of course but I seem to be surviving.   Lots of coffee does the trick...not healthy...but it helps!

Timmy, Monty and Fistik sleeping on the bedroom floor. The coolest spot during the day.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

This week's update

A week ago I started a group page on Facebook.  It's hard to believe it was only a week ago because it seems to have taken off and I am enjoying the conversations with the members who have joined.

I have to admit to finding Facebook more satisfying than blogging, simply because of the immediate interaction with people.  Something that doesn't happen so easily with a blog.

In this respect, I don't think I will be blogging quite so much as usual.  I won't be giving up on it entirely though.

There is no further news on the two dogs (belonging to the old man) who went missing recently.  He had promised to ring Mr A if he had any news.  I really don't hold out much hope that they will return.  I feel so sad for him.  Bless his heart...he still continues to feed dogs in the village with the food we provide.

Annie's eye infection has cleared up with the drops we got from the vet for  her "mum" who also continues to feed four more dogs as well as Annie.

The man at the sanayi is also continuing to feed the dogs there.

Food for all these dogs, along with worm tablets, flea treatments and any other vet care is of course thanks to your kind donations.   As you know this project of ours is ongoing, so we are always grateful for anything you can afford, no matter how small.  (You will find the Paypal donation button at the top of this page).

My 10 rescues are all fine.  They are feeling the heat, but have plenty of shade  and the 6 big dogs "bedroom" is inside the old house in our garden so is fairly cool.  The 4 little ones spend some time in the shady parts of the garden and also on my bedroom floor...which is the coolest spot in the house.

If you are on Facebook but have not yet joined my group, please send me a friend request (Linda I. Kaya) and I will then add you. Alternatively, you will find the link to the group Ayak's Animal Welfare on the sidebar of this page.   Look forward to seeing you there.